Over the years many people have tried to ascertain the spiritual beliefs of Isaac Newton. Creationists will often try to claim him on the side of Christianity, while secularists are convinced that he was no more than a deist. For myself, I try to distance myself from reading the tea leaves of such things, as it can be very difficult to interpret – it’s hard enough to know the spiritual state of people who are alive and with us today! But this was an interesting article, published by CNN, concerning Newton’s penchant for making predictions of the end times:
JERUSALEM (AP) — Three-century-old manuscripts by Isaac Newton calculating the exact date of the apocalypse, detailing the precise dimensions of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and interpreting passages of the Bible — exhibited this week for the first time — lay bare the little-known religious intensity of a man many consider history’s greatest scientist.
Newton, who died 280 years ago, is known for laying much of the groundwork for modern physics, astronomy, math and optics. But in a new Jerusalem exhibit, he appears as a scholar of deep faith who also found time to write on Jewish law — even penning a few phrases in careful Hebrew letters — and combing the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel for clues about the world’s end.
The documents, purchased by a Jewish scholar at a Sotheby’s auction in London in 1936, have been kept in safes at Israel’s national library in Jerusalem since 1969. Available for decades only to a small number of scholars, they have never before been shown to the public.
In one manuscript from the early 1700s, Newton used the cryptic Book of Daniel to calculate the date for the apocalypse, reaching the conclusion that the world would end no earlier than 2060.
Personally, I would say that he was much better at physics. For the full CNN story go here.